LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The National Wild Turkey Federation, the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports and Mossy Oak held a press conference Tuesday for SHOT Show media discussing successful hunter Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) programming and the need for continued collaborative efforts to secure the future of conservation funding and our hunting heritage.
In just five years of its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, the NWTF has recruited or reactivated nearly a million hunters, reaching 65 percent of its 10-year goal of 1.5 million hunters.
“While we have a long way to go, we are proud of the successes we have seen these past few years and look forward to what we can accomplish in 2018,” said Becky Humphries, NWTF CEO. “This is not a problem that will be solved by the few. It will take everyone working together to combat those declining numbers.”
The National Hunting and Shooting Sports Plan, facilitated by the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports, calls for increased numbers participating in and supporting hunting and the shooting sports.
New target audiences for the NWTF and its partners include families, church groups, millennials, college students, urbanites, professional societies, locavores and farmers’ market shoppers, as research shows involving adults in learn-to-hunt activities is sustainable. Adults have the resources to enable them to hunt, the decision-making power to continue to hunt, likely take more away from each learn-to-hunt encounter and they naturally will bring their children through the process, as well.
Through collaboration with its partners, such as state agencies, Pheasants Forever, Quality Deer Management Association and Ducks Unlimited, the NWTF is expanding its efforts across the country to provide educational events followed by multiple opportunities to hunt as well as mentor training, a major component to providing a social support and educational network for new hunters.
The National R3 Symposium is scheduled for May 21-23 in Lincoln, Nebraska, and will provide a forum for serious discussion and collaboration around the R3 movement.
“The National R3 Symposium will provide an unparalleled opportunity for state and federal fish and wildlife agencies, outdoor recreation industries and conservation organizations to share, learn and develop opportunities for our community to advance and accelerate the current state of R3 efforts,” said John Frampton, President and CEO of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.